Prof. Doug Clinton of Northern Illinois University discussing the Capital Budgeting Process and the steps required to do it correctly and successfully. Capital budgeting is the process in which a business determines and evaluates potential expenses or investments that are large in nature. These expenditures and investments include projects such as building a new plant or investing in a long-term venture. Often times, a prospective project’s lifetime cash inflows and outflows are assessed in order to determine whether the potential returns generated meet a sufficient target benchmark, also known as “investment appraisal.”
- Ideally, businesses should pursue all projects and opportunities that enhance shareholder value. However, because the amount of capital available at any given time for new projects is limited, management needs to use capital budgeting techniques to determine which projects will yield the most return over an applicable period of time. Various methods of capital budgeting can include throughput analysis, net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR),discounted cash flow (DCF) and payback period.